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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Utah nobles bow down and support tax reform while the peasants pay

Ronald Mortensen, Ph.D.




Late in the evening on December 9, 2019, the Utah Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force approved a bill that imposes a sales tax on gasoline, reimposes the sales tax on food and doesn’t give anyone a penny in savings on their 2019 income taxes. Governor Herbert will now call a special session to enact it into law.


When the time for public comment came, the subservient nobles joined by a serf or two lined up to pay homage to their legislative masters. The AARP, Wasatch Front Regional Council, Utah Bankers Association Utah [big business] Taxpayers Association, Utah Association of Charter Schools, Utah Cultural Alliance, Utah Tourism Industry, Sutherland Institute, Utah Association of Counties, New Car Dealers of Utah, Utah Association of Realtors, Utah Apartment Association, Construction Industry, Salt Lake Chamber, Utah Association of Homebuilders, Utah Optometrists and others all heaped praise on the legislators on the committee.


Just like those in the inner circle of the North Korean dictator, they bowed down and paid tribute their masters—both in writing and verbally during public comment. They rained down accolades on legislators for their wisdom, their compassion and their inclusiveness—and especially for crafting a bill that benefits Utah’s nobles and privileged serfs who feed at the public trough at the expense of the rest of the peasants. And they each individually pledged their unwavering support for the bill and unanimously called for a special session—We want a special session! We want a special Session!


The choreographed show of support was so pathetic that Representative Tim Quinn noted that the “table had been set with so many businesses talking in favor of the bill.” He then voted against the bill because it fails to achieve the mission assigned to the task force—create a long term solution to the state’s revenue needs.


So, after months of work and $150,000 of taxpayer money spent on a propaganda show to convince the citizens that their governor and legislative masters know best, the only thing the committee was able to do was to pass a bill that rearranges the chairs on the Titanic—in other words, to do something pointless or insignificant that will soon be overtaken by events, or that contributes nothing to the solution of a current problem.

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